Just before Christmas this year I went down to our local bargin store ‘L.A Variety’ with my 2yr old Isy and we bought 2 sets of Christmas lights for a total of $12.95 – gotta love bargin stores! I found myself wondering if we really need 2 sets, and where we’d even put the second set, but then I thought… what’s another $5.00… why not! Our local newspaper, The Manly Daily, recently ran a story on the Richards family who have spent $250k on christmas lights…yep you read correct $250,000! Read the full story.
As you might imagine, this story has been a hot topic of conversation locally, with various letters back to the newspaper, Facebook posts and the comments on the Manly Daily website are quite a read and a mix of opinions! On the surface, it’s great that they want to instill some Christmas cheer and festive spirit into the community, and it’s awesome that they take donations for Day of Difference Foundation. Thinking into it a bit deeper though, to spend that much is honestly just totally excessive, shows a lack of social conscience and I can’t help thinking that unless they raise more than $250k for Day of Difference, then perhaps they could’ve spent a little less on the lights and just given some money straight to the charity – clearly raising money for charity is not the motivation for the light spectacular, as Mr Richards himself admits that “It’s definitely an addiction…”
As you can see, our lights serve their purpose quite nicely and Isy loves them! Clearly I don’t have any sort of addiction to adorning my house with christmas lights, so seeing how much the Richards spent, sparked a raw nerve with me. But if you think about it, we all have some sort of addiction or weakness when it comes to wanting more – mine is currently camera equipment – what I wouldn’t do to get my hands on one of these!! But the question is where do you draw the line and do you have the self control and social conscience to make a wise deision?
It’s all relative really – to me $250k is way too much to spend on something like this, but perhaps the Richards’ are blessed with much, and so $250k isn’t much to spend for them (and perhaps they are super generous also and give away as much or more than this). In the same way, my extra $5 on the second set of lights, or even the $4 I so easily spend on coffee most days, would seem completely excessive to ‘Tenny‘ our sponsor child, or one of the millions of people currently starving in refugee camps in East Africa.
So however you ‘spent’ your Christmas, it’s always helpful to think about your spending with a social consience and global perspective, so you can make wise spending decisions. After all, Christmas really has little to do with spending, but a lot more to do with giving…
Live a life more generous.